Vicksburg's Best Kept Secret

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
Courthouse front view.jpg

Completed in 1860, the historic old courthouse (now museum) in Vicksburg is a jewel in the city's crown.
I visited the museum today and wanted to invite my CivilWar Talk friends to come along.
case of shells near the front door of museum.jpg

The one thing that makes this historic museum special is that it is full of artifacts found by the locals in their yards and gardens and were given to the museum for people to enjoy. Many are in their "raw state".
Dug camp artifacts in museum in hallway area.jpg

These artifacts came from the many camps that the soldier's occupied in and around the city.
They are varied and include personal items as well as weapons.
cat on the display casw.jpg

As I was browsing through the cases, I became startled to see a house cat perched on one of the displays. You gotta love it. I guarantee you won't find a mouse anywhere in this museum!
drawers of bullets and shell frags.jpg

So many locals have donated artifacts that they have found to the museum that you find the more common items like minie balls and shell fragments stuck away in shelves underneath display cases.
7'' Dyer shell from Vicksburg.jpg

Now here is a jewel....This large hunk of iron is a 7'' Dyer shell (42 lb. Rifle) found by a local relic hunter back in 1981. It is noted on the display that this is the only one known to be found in Vicksburg.
FROM GRANT minie ball.jpg

About 30 years ago, a relic hunter discovered this .58 calibre minie ball with a message carved on it: "From Grant"
AK Shaifer carved cuff links.jpg

For those that have been to the battlefield at Port Gibson, you will have seen the A.K. Shaifer home where the first shots of the battle were fired.
The cufflinks were carved from a tree on his property.
Large case of cleaned shells lining the hallway.jpg

Cases of cleaned shells line the halls of the museum.
courthouse.jpg

This courtroom saw many famous Americans including Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Theodore Roosevelt among many others.
china and glass from local plantations and homes.jpg

A whole room is dedicated to the household furnishings of local planters including this china and silver service display.

There are also rooms dedicated to other areas of Vicksburg's rich history including native American and 20th century.

Well worth a visit. I know my time was well spent today!
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Love that museum, and Pray to Almighty God it NEVER changes.

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Greatest museum in hundred miles, no where else I've seen in Mississippi and North Louisiana can compare. Only one I ever seen that had an antique/relic shop in it.

When there for the 2019 CWT Muster, my friend Tom and I were looking over the artillery shell display and he pointed out something that convinced me to get across the Mississippi River as fast as I can if that place ever, (Heaven forbid) catches fire.
 

Polloco

Captain
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
We visited that museum 25 years ago on our honeymoon.If these are recent photos not a whole lot has changed. The proprietors at the museum gave us a set of salt shakers depicting black characters. I would bet that don't happen these days, black salt shakers aren't PC and who ever heard of giving something instead of trying to sell a tourist something?
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
Love that museum, and Pray to Almighty God it NEVER changes.

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Greatest museum in hundred miles, no where else I've seen in Mississippi and North Louisiana can compare. Only one I ever seen that had an antique/relic shop in it.

When there for the 2019 CWT Muster, my friend Tom and I were looking over the artillery shell display and he pointed out something that convinced me to get across the Mississippi River as fast as I can if that place ever, (Heaven forbid) catches fire.
Some of their displays could stand to be deactivated. :help:
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Not to worry.

That museum is not connected to the Federal Government whatsoever.

So I think it will be there for a long time.

Ain't it owned by the County?

Also its no unheard of for unconnected museums to "re-organize" and "update" everything and the end result be a PC mess. Museum of the Confederacy being a good example.
 

ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Ain't it owned by the County?

Also its no unheard of for unconnected museums to "re-organize" and "update" everything and the end result be a PC mess. Museum of the Confederacy being a good example.
NO, The Old Warren County Court House Museum is operated and maintained by the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society, a private, non-profit organization.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Some of their displays could stand to be deactivated.

In 2019 Tom and I were looking at the artillery shell displays, and he just looked over and said quietly "You notice the shells?" me not getting it and saying how great a display it was he halfway frustrated said "Look at them closer. They're live." before chuckling. I looked at them and noticed he was right.

About that time @ucvrelics walks by and tells me about the basement!

Hiroshima won't have nothing on Vicksburg if there's fire....

But I wouldn't have the museum any other way. It has an old fashioned feel and environment that most museums have lost in their "hip" craziness with updating. They need to do a little deactivating though....
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Ain't it owned by the County?

Also its no unheard of for unconnected museums to "re-organize" and "update" everything and the end result be a PC mess. Museum of the Confederacy being a good example.

This is a little local museum.

To be honest I can't answer your question.
But I do know it's not owned by the State.

One of our members used to work there. I'm sure he can provide details.

Paging @Championhilz .
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
In 2019 Tom and I were looking at the artillery shell displays, and he just looked over and said quietly "You notice the shells?" me not getting it and saying how great a display it was he halfway frustrated said "Look at them closer. They're live." before chuckling. I looked at them and noticed he was right.

About that time @ucvrelics walks by and tells me about the basement!

Hiroshima won't have nothing on Vicksburg if there's fire....

But I wouldn't have the museum any other way. It has an old fashioned feel and environment that most museums have lost in their "hip" craziness with updating. They need to do a little deactivating though....
There would be a hot time in the old town that night. To their credit, the Courthouse Museum has an alarm system and a fire protection system. Also, it is not as easy to get a projectile to "cook off" as you might think.
 
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ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
This is a little local museum.

To be honest I can't answer your question.
But I do know it's not owned by the State.

One of our members used to work there. I'm sure he can provide details.

Paging @Championhilz .
The building is owned by the county and The Old Warren County Court House Museum is operated and maintained by the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society, a private, non-profit organization.
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
We visited that museum 25 years ago on our honeymoon.If these are recent photos not a whole lot has changed. The proprietors at the museum gave us a set of salt shakers depicting black characters. I would bet that don't happen these days, black salt shakers aren't PC and who ever heard of giving something instead of trying to sell a tourist something?
No, hasn't changed. Just added a few more dug relics to the lot...:smile:
 

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